Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman is retiring, leaving his position to be filled by the head of the company’s beauty unit Alan Jope from 1st January 2019.
Mr Polman, who has been at the head of the company for 10 years, generated big returns for shareholders, which added up to 290 per cent over the period.
He expanded Unilever’s presence in emerging markets, and in 2017 successfully fought off a $143 billion takeover approach by Kraft-Heinz.
However, his exit comes after Unilever was forced to scrap a plan to move the company headquarters to the Netherlands in October, following an investor revolt.
His successor, Mr Jope, 54, is the boss of the beauty and personal care division which is Unilever’s largest, accounting for almost half of group annual profits.
He is also a former leader of its China business and has long been seen as a potential heir to Mr Polman.
Having been at Unilever since 1985, Mr Jope will be paid a fixed salary of €1.45 million, plus a target annual bonus of 150 percent of fixed pay in his new role as CEO.
Mr Polman will stay on for six months to support Mr Jope’s transition into the role, Unilever added in its statement.
Unilever, whose products include food and beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products, is the world's largest consumer goods company, and Europe’s seventh-most valuable company.